Anyone who shouts “Allahu Akbar” in Venice will be shot by snipers, the city’s mayor has threatened.
The right-wing mayor of the Italian city, Luigi Brugnaro, reportedly made the threat at a conference in Rimini, who week after the Barcelona terror attack and claimed: “Anyone who shouts Allahu Akbar in St Mark’s Square can expect to be gunned down by snipers within four paces.”
Outlining his strategy to protect the popular tourist city from similar terrorism attacks that have happened in London, Paris, Barcelona and Nice, he continued: “We need to increase our security when it comes to terrorism. We had four would be terrorists arrested in Venice a few months ago who wanted to blow up the Rialto bridge.
“They said they wanted to go and meet Allah so we will send them straight to Allah without having to throw them off the bridge, we will just shoot them,” the Telegraph reported.
The mayor of Florence, Do Nardella was forced to apologise though, when later at the same conference he burst into a room and yelled “Allabu Akhar”. In a Facebook post, he insisted he hadn’t meant any disrespect by the joke, writing: “I’m sorry for certain remarks which were caught on video and published online.
“It was not my intention to offend anybody, least of all the Muslim community. I did not intend to joke about their religion, nor evoke the tragic events of recent days.”
“Allahu Akbar” is an Arabic phrase meaning “Allah is greater” but is often translated as “God is great”. It is a commonly used phrase by Muslims, though has garnered notoritry in the Western World for being shouted by those commiting terror offenses.
13 people died and 130 were injured when a van crashed into a heavy crowd in the Las Ramblas area of Barcelona, which is popular with tourists.